BURLINGTON – Patrons of Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington weren’t laughing on Wednesday evening as the open mic comedy show had to be suspended after one of the amateur performers froze up on stage and had to be forcibly removed by security. The local deer, identified only as John D. on the sign-up sheet, walked onto the stage to begin his set, but completely froze as soon as he was in the spotlight.
“I’m not sure what happened,” said one of the patrons who claimed to be a friend of John’s. “He’s a really funny guy. I’ve never seen him just completely freeze like that. It was weird. I mean, he wasn’t moving a single muscle. They literally had to get four big guys to carry him off of the stage. He just shut down. I’ve never seen him do that before.”
“It happens,” said Natalie Miller, who founded Vermont Comedy Club with her husband two years ago. “People, and animals, they just get on stage for the first time and they freeze. Although generally they don’t actually stop moving their bodies. Usually they just forget their jokes or start mumbling incoherently. This was the first time we had to remove someone physically.”
It took several minutes for the audience to realize that the terrified look and absence of motion was not part of the act. Some people chuckled a bit for the first minute of two. But when attendees began to realize that something was seriously wrong, they alerted management who quickly took control of the situation. Miller says that within fifteen minutes the show was back up and running, with no further hiccups.
“I guess next time, if we get any more deer, we might warn them about the spotlight,” she said.